(posted today on my Working Mother magazine’s “Walking Zombie” blog)

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Last year while on vacation I repeatedly told myself a big fat lie- At an amazing adventure camp for both kids and parents, I had the opportunity to learn the flying trapeze, to water ski, tube, and more. While I did indulge some, on many occasions I simply opted out. To be honest, I don’t even know why…it was just easier to say, “No thank you, I’m good,” and encourage my kids to participate.

But the truth is, each time Dave or the kids did something really cool like swing from the trapeze, I thought to myself how amazing it would be to give it a try. Yet time after time I just sat and watched.  Looking back, I now realize that much of my resistance was a combination of fear of the unknown, the inability to get outside my comfort zone and pure laziness. It just took too much effort. Each time, after I passed, I would get this terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to dive in and have crazy fun, I did! It was just easier to watch everyone else have it.

We want back to Callaway Gardens again this year. I’m quite certain this is now going to be an annual family tradition. I made a mental decision that this time; I was not going to sit it out. I was going to step out of my comfort zone, face my fears and do all the things I refused to do last year. I also had this gut feeling that my daughter Paris, who is ten, was watching every decision I made. As her mother and mentor, if I wasn’t going to do it for myself, I was going to do it for her.

In the course of one week, I raced Dave on a crazy water obstacle course called aqua island and laughed so hard I almost passed out, water skied, tubed, climbed an 80 foot tree that scared the life out of me and zip lined over a beautiful lake, biked for hours on end, studied garden ideas at an edible garden, learned how to do a backflip on a flying trapeze, caught lightening bugs, and sat alone in an old chapel along a wooded path and pondered my life.

Who do you think had more fun? The stuffy woman who chose to sit it out or the adventurous girl who chose to dive in? The only difference between last year and this year was my mindset. Last year I had no intention, I was just there, on vacation with my family. This year I set out with the intention to have a blast and to do everything that scared and got me out of my comfort zone. This by far was one of the best vacations of my life. While I’ve been to France, Spain, Germany, the BVI and more…this little place in the Georgia mountains stole my heart because it called to the girl in me and beckoned me to play. I am so glad I said yes! I still can’t believe the impact it had on my life.

When is the last time you did something daring, adventurous, and crazy fun? What inhibitions are holding you back from letting the girl inside you come out to play? Whether at work, home or while on vacation, I challenge you to set your intention in regards to how you want to be, what you wish to feel and the experiences you desire to have and then set about creating them. Like me, you may just find it changes your life.

Written by Traci Bild, work-life balance expert and Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement. Follow us on Facebook (Get Your Girl Back movement) for more inspiration and ideas to live a life of adventure, fun and sheer bliss! To download the first chapter of Traci’s forthcoming book, Get Your Girl Back, visit  http://gygb.com/the-book/.

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(from my Walking Zombie blog on WorkingMother.com)

Yesterday my family went zip lining at Calloway Gardens in the Georgia Mountains. We strapped on our gear, headed into the trees and zealously moved from one obstacle to the other. Two hours in we were still going strong until I realized we were close to the end of the main zip line course and about to enter the Lake course. Out of nowhere I started to sweat really bad- my hands were slipping from the lines, my t-shirt sticking to my chest and my heart beating faster and faster. Having done this very same course last year, I knew what was coming…the tree. As hard as I tried I couldn’t shake this horrible fear.

The lake course has three exhilarating zip lines. That- I wanted to do! But to get to the second one you must climb an eighty foot tree via a wooden rope ladder. Last year it took everything in my being to get up that ladder. This year, I knew what was coming. I had done it before but this was the first time our whole family was zip lining this course together and Noah’s first time at all! Dave was leading from the front and I was following up from the back. This had worked all day until we got closer and closer to the tree.

Ending the main course we walked over to the Lake. Shaking, I climbed up the first ladder, telling myself, “I can do this, I can do this!” but the reality is I had already talked myself out of it- I was terrified. How was I going to watch my two children climb an eighty foot ladder, step onto a platform high into the tree tops (and the size of my kitchen mat), and not pass out? Standing at the top of a smaller platform, I stared at the tree…taking it in, I told myself, “You’ve done this before, it’s no big deal, just climb the ladder, step onto the platform and zip over the lake!”

Then I looked down to see an employee and suddenly, I had my out! “Can I pay you to please follow my kids? I won’t let them go without someone behind them and honestly I don’t want to do it!” He offered to go, no charge and I was out- free from the torture of climbing the ladder up the tree. Someone would head up the front and back, ensuring my kids were safe but it wouldn’t be me. I was so relieved I wanted to cry. He went up and I went down…my family continued on.

I sat on a bench and watched from afar. As I saw my eight and ten year old children climb the tree I realized I had failed them. I let fear, false evidence appearing real, steal my confidence and in turn my joy. My fear would keep me from the feeling of accomplishment and adrenaline my family would feel- instead, I would be defeated. The truth is, I had done this before, had fun, and challenged myself in a huge way. The only thing different this year is I let fear get the best of me.

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How many times have you let fear get the best of you? Perhaps you had the opportunity to take a promotion and out of fear, declined and missed the opportunity of a lifetime. Maybe you were offered a job oversees but declined due to your fear of the unknown or you wanted to launch a new business but changed your mind for fear of failure. Fear is very real and as I learned yesterday, it can steal your girl in a nanosecond. That girl who stops at nothing to get what she wants, who is bold, confident and full of hope. Looking back on my experience I realize that yesterday, fear won. The next time we battle, I will win. What about you?